Divorce is already a complicated time for all involved and often implicates unexpected expenses. Luckily, there are many different steps each party can take to cut costs and promote future financial health. From collecting essential documents and creating a list of the assets and liabilities in the marital estate to seeking guidance from a financial planner and choosing an experienced divorce attorney, each party must attempt to navigate divorce in a way that benefits individual needs and well-being.
Be Realistic, Organized, and Efficient
If a separation occurs, before a party files for divorce, it’s best to start organizing and taking an inventory of shared and separate property. Financial, income, and other essential documents should be collected. This will give the attorney retained on the case ample opportunity to review them and ensure all necessary information has been provided. Working with an attorney can be costly, and being efficient and organized will result in fewer meetings and time spent for all involved parties. Below are a few examples of essential documents spouses can begin gathering should a divorce be contemplated.
- Bank Statements
- Credit Card Statements
- Business income and business expenses
- Tax returns
- Recent pay stubs
- Insurance policies
- Lists of personal property of significant value
- Documentation of any other significant asset or liability
If you are unable to easily access this information, your attorney can help you obtain it through discovery if that becomes necessary.
Each party needs to familiarize themselves with the divorce process and learn as much as one can. Each state varies in divorce laws, but exploring available articles and resources will help develop an understanding of divorce’s legal and financial impacts.
Choose an Experienced Divorce Attorney
Seeking professional guidance from an experienced divorce attorney is critical for any couple choosing to pursue a divorce. If a couple is having trouble communicating and making decisions, mediation is a great way to cut costs, eliminate delays, and determine what is best for each partner. Participating in a consultation is also an excellent way to get to know an attorney, how their practices fit the case in question and determine whether a candidate is right for one’s case. During consultations, parties will also have the opportunity to scale an attorney’s communication skills as it is a critical factor in successfully litigating the case. Each spouse must feel comfortable talking with the chosen attorney to form a healthy client-attorney relationship.
Manage Assets and Shared Debt
The attorney assigned to any divorce case will ask to see both marital and personal assets as well as any shared debt. Creating a list of marital assets will display honesty and willingness to reach a fair outcome and reduce the amount of time the attorney spends searching for these items. It is essential to ensure that each spouse’s assets are accounted for in full, and none are overlooked. Going through a divorce is life-changing, and finances will likely change substantially for each party. It is encouraged to seek guidance from a financial planner to help each spouse create a budget and financial plan for this new way of life. Getting help from third parties will help the divorce process move along smoothly and ensure each spouse is financially healthy afterward. Each spouse should also set aside time to change beneficiary designations, update wills, and pull credit reports.
Going through a divorce changes the “normal” for each spouse and can drastically affect the financial well-being of each. There are numerous preventative measures couples can take to set each other up for future success, and it is essential to become aware of the available options.
This article contains general legal information and does not provide legal advice. For legal advice, please contact M. Sue Wilson Law Offices directly.